Looking for an easy chicken alternative that actually tastes like the real thing? Stop the search! These crispy Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are tender on the inside, crispy on the outside and full of spicy goodness – just like a classic buffalo wing!
Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings
These meatless buffalo wings cook up to crispy perfection in the air fryer. They’re so easy to make, absolutely delicious and they’re gluten-free as well as vegetarian.
If y’all know anything about me. I’m a chicken wing master! It’s one of the most searched categories on my site for a reason! So, while these wings may not pass for real meat, they’re pretty darn close. Trust me! The good news is, if you’ve got vegetarians and meat lovers in the same house. I’ve got your back! Now everyone can enjoy a hot buffalo wing dipped in cool ranch dressing. As it should be!
You could also make these cauliflower wings with barbecue sauce or any other flavoring of choice. They’ll come out tender-crisp and delicious either way. But I do recommend you give this buffalo version a try – the flavor is incredible!
Why Use an Air Fryer Instead of the Oven?
When it comes to cooking cauliflower wings, the air fryer is the way to go. Trust me. It really nails the crispy edges, tender inside combo that makes “real” chicken wings so irresistible. Plus, the air fryer keeps the cooking process quick and simple. Add in your delicious hot buffalo sauce and these wings will really take flight!
It doesn’t take a ton of ingredients to make these spicy cauliflower wings. Just a handful of healthy and flavorful kitchen classics.
- Cauliflower: Cut the cauliflower into florets.
- Almond Milk: Be sure to use unsweetened.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: A tablespoon of this healthy vinegar will add moisture and flavor to your wings.
- Gluten-Free Baking Flour: Use 1-to-1 baking flour for accurate portions.
- Garlic Powder: For flavor!
- Smoked Paprika: If you want even hotter wings, you can use chili powder instead.
- Dried Parsley: Just a teaspoon.
- Black Pepper: To taste.
- Hot Sauce: I use Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter for this recipe.
Can I Make This Recipe Vegan?
Absolutely! It’s easy to make vegan-friendly cauliflower wings with this recipe. All you have to do is substitute the butter for a vegan alternative. Some of my favorites are coconut oil or earthy balance vegan butter. Every other ingredient in the recipe is already vegan!
How to Make Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
This air fryer recipe is straightforward and simple. Just make the sauce, cook your battered cauliflower wings, mix it all together and enjoy!
- Make Buffalo Sauce: To a small saucepan on medium-low heat, add the hot sauce and butter. Cook until the butter is melted, making sure to stir throughout. Once the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
- Combine Almond Milk & Vinegar: To a small bowl, add the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add to Dry Ingredients: To a medium bowl, add gluten-free baking flour, garlic powder, smoked paprika, dried parsley and black pepper. Add the almond milk mixture to the dry ingredients, whisking until smooth (the mixture will be thick).
- Prepare Cauliflower: Add the cauliflower florets to a large bowl, pour the batter over the cauliflower and toss thoroughly with a spoon to make sure each floret is coated evenly.
- Assemble in Air Fryer: Set the air fryer to 400°F. Add half of the cauliflower batch to the basket. DO NOT overcrowd the basket – you don’t want any of the cauliflower to overlap.
- Cook First Batch: Cook for 7 minutes. Take the basket out and turn or shake it to flip the cauliflower. Cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned.
- Cook Second Batch: Remove the cooked cauliflower and add it to a bowl, cover it with tin foil to keep it warm, and repeat the cooking process with the second batch.
- Add Sauce & Serve: Pour the hot buffalo sauce over the cauliflower and toss to completely coat the cauliflower wings with sauce. Serve immediately.
Tips for Success
To make sure your buffalo wings come out just right, take note of these easy tips and recommendations.
- Be Consistent with Sizing: When cutting the cauliflower into florets, trim them as needed so they’re all a similar size. This way, all of your wings will be perfectly cooked at the same time.
- Work in Batches: If you really want your wings to come out crispy, make sure they have plenty of space in your air fryer basket. Cook in batches to avoid any overlapping.
- Coat Cauliflower Evenly: When you’re coating your wings with the batter and the buffalo sauce, toss to cover them completely. This will ensure that your wings cook evenly and that every piece is has its fair share of sauce.
These versatile buffalo wings are not hard to pair with other dishes. You can serve them as a starter, enjoy them as a snack or make another appetizer to go with them.
- Serve with a Dip: Grab some ranch or blue cheese and enjoy your wings the old fashioned way!
- Pair with Avocado Toast: I love balancing these spicy wings with a cool and creamy side dish like Avocado Toast.
- Serve with Vegetables: Pair your wings with carrot sticks, celery sticks or another vegetable of choice.
- Serve with Beer: Making these wings for Sunday night football? Enjoy them with an ice cold beer!
- Add a Margarita: Game day drinks don’t get much better than this classic margarita.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
I want to emphasize that these cauliflower wings are best served fresh. But that doesn’t mean they won’t taste delicious if you refrigerate and reheat them! They just won’t be quite as crispy.
If you have leftovers, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Then just reheat them in the oven at 400°F until hot. I don’t recommend freezing these buffalo wings.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Hungry for more healthy air fryer recipes? I’ve got you covered!
- These Crispy Garlic Parmesan Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts are addicting! Major brownie points to brussels sprouts. They caramelize so nicely and really come alive with the flavors in this dish.
- If you’re not vegetarian, you have to try this Maple Dijon Air Fryer Salmon. It’s incredibly tender, juicy and flavorful!
Looking for an easy chicken alternative that actually tastes like the real thing? Stop the search! These crispy Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are tender on the inside and full of spicy goodness, just like a classic buffalo wing!
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup 1:1 gluten free baking flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup franks original red hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- garnish: carrot sticks, celery sticks, chopped green onions and ranch dressing
- Make buffalo sauce: To a small saucepan on medium-low heat, add hot sauce and butter. Cook until butter is melted, be sure to stir throughout. Once butter is melted, remove pan from heat and set aside.
- To a small bowl, add almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
- To a medium bowl, add gluten-free baking flour, garlic powder, smoked paprika, dried parsley and black pepper. Add almond milk mixture to the dry ingredients, whisk until smooth (the mixture will be thick).
- Add cauliflower florets to a large bowl, pour batter over the cauliflower and toss thoroughly with a spoon to make sure each floret is coated evenly.
- Set air fryer to 400°F. Add half of the cauliflower batch to the basket. DO NOT overcrowd, you don’t want any of the cauliflower to overlap.
- Cook for 7 minutes. Take basket out, turn or shake the basket to flip the cauliflower. Cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned.
- Remove cauliflower and add to a bowl (cover with tin foil to keep warm). Repeat cooking process with second batch.
- Pour hot sauce over cauliflower and toss to completely coat cauliflower wings with sauce.
- Serve immediately.
- Optional: serve with ranch dressing, carrot sticks, celery sticks and garnish with green onions.
Keywords: cauliflower wings, buffalo cauliflower wings, vegan cauliflower wings, air fryer wings, buffalo wings recipe, buffalo cauliflower recipe, meatless recipes, vegetarian appetizers, game day food